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Just A Walk

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He felt so restless, after last night, seeing her by chance at that bullshit awards banquet the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce threw for him and Jerry, ‘Welcoming Our Returning Heroes.’  Yeah right, something like that.  But there she was in the audience with her smiling mother and always-frowning father.  Mary Campbell, even prettier than she’d been their senior year in high school.  The restlessness is a replay of all those nights in Vietnam, out on patrol, spending the down time thinking of her, and the chances he’d wasted, how she’d probably found someone more worthwhile and gotten on with her life.

But there she was, sitting between her parents instead of with some other fella.  Maybe there was a chance.  Maybe he hadn’t wasted his chance. The restlessness pushes him on tonight, walking the mile or so between their houses.  Yeah maybe it is a little late at night to be putting in a surprise appearance at her front doorstep.  But what was it Sarge was always saying?  “You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get.”  Who knows, maybe he was wrong and this is a complete waste of time, but it feels right, walking up her to her door, to at least try after all this time.  After all those miles he’s traveled to get back here, all those horrors endured and forgotten, maybe there is still a chance.  He’s John Winchester damn it, he survived ‘Nam, he can at least give this a shot.

John shoots his jacket collar, smoothes the front of his shirt, and arranges his face into a smile-at-civvies face, takes a deep breath and rings the doorbell.

At first he hears nothing, and is just about to ring the bell again when he spots someone disappearing through the small window next to the door. A long pause and then finally the door abruptly opens, “What do you want at this time of night.” Mr. Campbell demands, looking down on John standing on the front porch.

“Uh, I just wanted to speak to Mary sir, if that’s all right with you.” John manages to stammer out, he’s forgotten how much of a hard-ass Mr. Campbell really is.

“Stay here.”  The door slams in his face.  John rolls his eyes at the man, he hasn’t changed a bit apparently and his current war hero status doesn’t seem to have impressed the S.O.B. at all.

He hears some female voices raised from inside the house and lighter footsteps approaching the door which opens more slowly this time, “John, what a surprise! Hi, sorry about my dad, you know how he is.” Mary says through the screen door.

John smiles widely at her, “Hi Mary, see things haven’t changed much while I was gone.”

“So, what did you want or is this an April Fool’s joke?” She asks, not inviting him in, because she’s really not sure why he’s standing at her door.

“No, no joke, just wanted to see if you’d like to take a walk with me.”

“Uh, sure, when?”

“I was thinking right now would be good.”

“Yeah, I think I can.  Hold on, wait here, I’ll go tell them I’m leaving.  Don’t go anywhere, okay?”  She let’s go of the door and it swings mostly closed again.

“I’ll wait, don’t worry.” John answers, even though she’s too far away to hear.  He’s starting to feel a little stupid standing here on the front porch, not getting invited in or anything.  John can hear her father’s raised voice and what he guesses is her mother shutting him up, but soon Mary is back, throwing on a sweater over her shoulders, “Let’s go, quick before he changes his mind.”

And then there she is, next to him finally, and is she taller after all this time? “Hi.” Is all he can manage to say with all of this want and happiness and confusion rushing through his mind.

“Hi yourself.” She answers, full of sass and spring-y energy, too alive and real to be believed. Mary looks up at him like he’s supposed to be doing something and finally he snaps out of it, offering her his arm, she wraps one slim hand around it and starts walking towards the dark street away from the glare of the porch light.

They walk together at a pretty slow pace for a while in silence, just getting used to being near each other again, finally Mary asks, “So what’d you want to talk to me about John?”

“Well, I saw you last night at the chamber of commerce thing, and it reminded me that I wanted to see you now that I’m finally back.” John answers.

“You did?” Mary asks with a squeak of surprise at the end of her question.

“Yeah Mary, I actually thought of you a lot, while I was over there.”

“Really?  That’s sweet.  I wrote you a few letters did you get them?”

“I did, thanks, they were, uh, well, I read them a lot.  Reminded me of what I was missing.”

“What was that?”

“You.” John says simply, hoping against all hope that she’ll be okay with him saying something like that.

“John, you can’t just say things like that and surprise a girl!” she laughs.

“Why’s that?” He asks, confused to hear her laughing.

“It just might make me like you even more than I already do, that’s why.” Mary ducks her head down a little as she makes this confession.

John sees it out of the corner of his eye and stops their walking by turning her to face him, he wants her to see his face when he says this, so she knows he means it, “Mary, I really missed you, and the whole time I was there, I was kicking myself for not telling you how I felt before I left.  I was worried you’d be with someone else by the time I made it back.”

Mary looks at him, mesmerized by this man baring his heart like this to her, so she answers him with the truth, “There wasn’t a chance of that John.”

John smiles, “Your dad kept everyone away huh? He’s pretty good at that.”

She shakes her head, “No, I didn’t really even date much.  I was kind of hoping that you’d come back and you know.  Say what you just said.  And now you did and I don’t know what to do.”

John stops her rambling with his lips, sweeping her in close holding her tight in his arms.  She kisses him back furiously, like she’s angry about having to have had to wait for so long.  Finally, out of breath and lips tingling he pulls back from her so he can see her face in the glow of the streetlight.

“Mary, will you go out with me?” He asks, holding her in the circle of his arms.

“Yes, I will John.” Mary answers, her hands clasped loosely around his neck.

“I don’t mean just one time, I mean like go with me.”

“This just about making up for lost time?” Mary asks.

“No, it’s about seeing what we’ve been missing.” John answers.

“Then yes.” Mary says with complete conviction.

“What about your dad?” John asks, because this is the only obstacle he can see coming up between him and what he really wants, which is her.

“What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, at least for a while okay?”

“Not too long, I don’t want to sneak around Mary.”

“I get it, believe me I do.  But you know how he is, I’ve got to work him up to the idea.”

“He’s so protective, more than other fathers are.” John observes.

Mary shrugs, since she can’t tell John the real reason her father is extraordinarily protective, “I guess he has his reasons.”

“Nothing against him or anything, I just want him to know you’ll be safe or whatever with me.”

“That’s really sweet.” Mary hugs him tightly.

“Well I mean it.” John says kissing the top of her head, and inhaling the sweet clean scent of her hair.

“I can tell.” Mary leans up to kiss him again, pulling him down with all her strength, loving that he’ll bend that far to meet her lips just because she demands it. 

John brings her in tightly, pressing their bodies flush together, finally holding her in his arms the way he’s always wanted to.  And it’s better than he’d thought it would be.  It’s like he can’t stop kissing her even though they’re out on the street where anyone could see them, including her father, and she needs to get home and John doesn’t ever want to let her go, to ever let this night end.  Something’s telling him to not let her go, no matter what.  Finally they separate a little, just to get a breath.

“Mary, god I don’t ever want to stop kissing you.” John confesses in a voice that just sounds wrecked and changed even to his own ears.

“Then don’t.” She says dreamily, pulling him back down to meet his lips with hers once again.  And it’s like what her mom’s always told her, her whole life, angels are watching over her.  It feels like that, like some force had made it right, a pure clean feeling between them.  Something that they’ve both been waiting for, and never found with any other, and now it’s finally here and it’s a little scary to feel it looming up out of nowhere.  But it’s not something she can ever tell him, because he wouldn’t understand.

They continue kissing for a few more long breathless minutes, until both of them take a break, they’re panting a little with barely controlled desire, lips red and wet, eyes not leaving the other’s face for a moment.  “I better go back home.” Mary says with real reluctance.

John steers them around to start walking back to her house immediately, because he knows he was lucky to get this much time with her, “I know.  Can I see you tomorrow?”

“Yes, I’ll meet you at lunch at the diner on main street, noon.” Mary answers him right away.

“I’ll be there.” John nods and holds her around the waist a little tighter as they walk up to her front porch.

“Good.  Thanks John.”

“Goodnight Mary, thanks for the walk.”

“Goodnight John, thanks for asking.” She brushes her lips against his, and then walks through the front door.

He pauses a moment on the porch, resolving to himself that he’ll deal with whatever Mr. Campbell dishes out, because he’s never felt anything like this before for any girl.  Getting to know Mary Campbell is his mission now and it feels good to have something to focus on.  Get his life restarted, have a goal, hopefully make a future with her.  He steps off the porch and starts his walk back to his mom’s house, happy and content and still fired-up with the desire kissing Mary sparked up in him.  He hasn’t felt this good in a very long time and he has some hope that maybe this is how he’ll get to feel the rest of his life with Mary.